Deaf Dog Learns Sign Language in Just Eight Weeks

Picture Credit: Israel Ruiz - Rafa, golden retriever shaking paw with trainer Jo who is kneeling.

The old adage that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks might not be true, but one young dog has learned sign language in just eight weeks.

When dog mom Jo Le Page, 41, found that her seven-month-old Spanish Water Dog Rafa couldn’t hear, she began to teach him sign language.

Nine Signs in Eight Weeks

And in just eight weeks, the clever pup has learned nine different signs. The signs he’s learned include sit, stand, stay, and paw, as well as watch me, spin, lie down, come, and even safe. With safe, he’ll walk under his mom’s legs, turn around, and remain there.

However, Rafa isn’t finished yet, as he’s still busy learning more hand signals. Jo says that his disability won’t limit his life. She hopes that people won’t be as quick to euthanize disabled dogs – or leave them in shelters.

Read on at

2023 National Deaf People of Color Conference (July 2023, Gallaudet University, Washington DC)

Save the date, 2023 National Deaf People of Color Conference in July 2023 at Gallaudet University in Washington DC. Questions email, ndpc at Check out the info and link below for more information. Conference sponsored by Heritage Sign Language Center, VOCA - Visionaries of the Creative Arts, Deaf People of Color, Center for Black Deaf Studies, and Bilingual.

The newly-established Heritage Sign Languages Center (HSLC) under the Office of the Chief Bilingual Officer will host the 2023 Deaf People of Color conference July 17-22, 2023 here at Gallaudet University. The conference theme is ““Reclaiming Our Cultural Heritages, Languages, and Identities.” According to Candace Jones, ’08, director of HSLC, “This unique conference will explore resourceful education through the advocacy of National Deaf People of Color’s (NDPC) workshops and special interest groups. Another focus will be to inform underrepresented Deaf People of Color (DPOC) of the issues relating to their education and community advocacy.” The conference will include keynote, plenary, and workshop presenters, exhibition booths, NDPC Got Talent!, and a gala event. 

More info, see

Registration link –

Healthy Aging for Women and Those Who Love Them (Oct. 27, 2022)

Deaf Health Talks, provided in ASL, with Q&A, on Zoom. Happening Thursday, October 27th, 8 to 9 PM ET. The left side states, Healthy Aging for Women and Those Who Love Them with Kimberly Kelstone DNP, CNM, CI, CT from Upstate Medical University & Stony Brook University. On the right side, there are two images. In the top left corner is a dark skinned woman with dark hair, seated in a yoga position meditating. Above her are icons that represent aspects of healthy living. The image on the bottom right corner is of an older age man and woman dancing. The bottom states go to: Followed by logos for hosts/sponsors, including Partners in Deaf Health, University of Michigan Medical School Department of Family Medicine, and Michigan Deaf Health.

The University of Michigan Family Medicine Department has partnered with Partners in Deaf Health and Michigan Deaf Health to host a Deaf Health Talk entitled “Healthy Aging for Women and Those Who Love Them” on Thursday, October 27th from 8-9 PM, ET. The event will only be on Zoom. We are excited to have Kimberly Kelstone from Upstate Medical University & Stony Brook University presenting for this event.


The event is on Zoom, is free, in ASL, and there will be closed captioning provided. Hope to see you there!


Our team has been working to continue developing monthly Deaf Health Talks. With your help, we hope to maintain our high viewership and post engagement. Our upcoming DHT is geared towards deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers and will be presented in American Sign Language with some spoken English translation. We would love to encourage you to share this talk with your respective communities. 


Thanks again and please email us at with any questions or concerns. Also, check out our website and Instagram page! Interested in supporting the Deaf Health Talks further? Donate here to support our efforts. Lastly, please feel free to let us know if you need more information. 

Zoom Link (please register in advance!)click here

Adjunct Instructor – American Sign Language (Newark/Wilmington, DE)

Delaware Technical Community College (DTCC)

Position Title Adjunct Instructor – American Sign Language
Position Number TBD
Position Type Temporary Part-Time
Hiring Location George Campus-Wilmington, DE
Contact Phone Number 302-573-5469
Contact Email Address
Work Location Stanton/George Campus-Newark, DE/Wilmington, DE
Position Specific Details
The incumbent in this position must demonstrate command of ASL and possess experience and/or ability to teach both on-campus or remotely.
Salary $38 per hour


More information and application link at

Charlotte city council move broadens access for deaf community

ASL interpreter shown in upper right corner of Charlotte City, NC council meeting.  Screenshot from the news channel video for an example.

The Charlotte city council started providing ASL interpretation during their bi-monthly meetings in September.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – American Sign Language, or ASL, interpretation is now available during Charlotte city council business meetings.

A city spokesperson, who said the change went into effect in September after the new city council was sworn in, explained this was a way to connect more with the deaf and hard of hearing community here in Charlotte.

Donna McCord-Smolik, who is deaf and communicates with ASL, says it’s a game changer.

“I’m thrilled!” she signed.